In our final instalment of thought leadership articles from Tvrtko Stosic, a consultant in Avaya’s International Specialists group, he points out how businesses in the experience economy really need to look beyond simple surveys to find out how they can keep their customers satisfied.
Keeping customers satisfied and retaining them is critical for every organization, but doing so is challenging in the era of the paradoxical ‘everything customer’, as Gartner names today’s consumers.
Organizations today are expected to be everything to everyone by offering not only great products, but ensuring customer interactions are completely effortless, personalized, intelligent, and consistent for every engagement – no matter the preferred platform or format customers pick.
These factors underscore customer experience (CX) and satisfaction and are often measured with a net promoter score (NPS).
But while NPS is the most common KPI that companies use to track the experience and loyalty of their customers, it comes with limitations.
The most prominent limitation is the fact NPS is only a number derived from scores given by customers at various stages of the journey.
That means NPS indicates customers’ satisfaction levels with an organization’s products or services at a particular moment in time.
What it struggles to do, however, is offer insight into the full lifecycle of customer interactions, and explain the reasons why customers provided the feedback they did.
What therefore becomes lost are the causes, consequences and correlations that define customer experience and loyalty, which are even more important than numbers and percentages. This has even prompted some to argue for NPS to be retired.
Plugging NPS gaps
“This call will be recorded for quality and training purposes,” something we hear any time we call into a contact center.
However, only a tiny fraction of these calls is ever used to drive outcomes beyond compliance, onboarding and conflict resolution training.
This is to the detriment of contact centers as customer conversations are undeniably one of the very best sources of information for insight into customer experiences, emotions, and perceptions. In fact, they could be the key to understanding the reasons and drivers behind the feedback customers provide when rating their interactions with a company.
The problem is that accessing the information would mean assigning agents or other employees to manually sift through thousands of hours of call recordings and gigabytes of transcripts. This is unfeasible, and even if it wasn’t, it would be an incredible drain on productivity that would be better spent on serving customers.
While contact centers have become accustomed to leaning on automation for various elements of the customer journey and agent workflow, there has been far less progress in gearing automation to the analysis of customer sentiment.
As with any set of big data, analytics can convert these mammoth data sets from a contact center’s customer conversations into bite-sized, actionable insights within minutes. This ‘small data’ can then be used to make strategic decisions to resolve customer service workflows and fine-tune the customer and employee experience.
Organizations subsequently have consistent intel to understand the real reasons behind customers’ satisfaction and dissatisfaction, and far more context for their NPS scores, culminating in improved CX. In addition, communications analytics can identify good and bad internal policies and practices, highlight gaps in user experience (UX) design, and outline digestible guidance for management teams to improve existing processes.
Evolving the measurement of customer satisfaction beyond the traditional confines of NPS and the surveys that inform them is the bedrock of building a total experience. It helps contact centers and their agents get beyond just a number by overcoming the complexities and uncertainty of simple survey scores, allowing them to shape unique CX that will keep customers coming back.